We had a really good, and rather eventful night out in Balham and Clapham! Starting in Balham, it was reasonably busy but, as usual, pretty quite with relation to any problems/people needing help. Walking up towards Clapham we came across a very drunk girl who was barely able to walk unassisted and struggled to tell us her name or where she lived. She was on her own so we walked her back to her flat on the Wier Estate. She refused water and flip-flops, but she seemed to sober up a little as we walked and talked, and told us she was called Gemma and was in her final year at UCL study Pharmacology. We got her home safely which we don’t think would have happened had it not been for us. She had already been seen to be nearly run over twice and she was very vulnerable to anyone who might have wanted to take advantage of her.
Heading along Clapham High Street we caught up again with the Christian female bouncer on the door of Infernos night club who told us more stories of violence (including shootings) and drunk girls being taken advantage of as they leave the club. Passing by the club later in the evening, bouncer Glen said that something was about to ‘kick off’ but that it calmed down when we arrived.
Some of the group helped to calm a situation down when a guy spat in a girls face when she refused to give him her phone number. In addition other members of the group acted as a calming presence when a drunk man started ‘having a go’ at a drunk lady and her dog. We also enjoyed the usual chats with people keen to know what we were up to, who were unanimously encouraging about what we do, with one asking if they could donate to the charity. In addition we gave out one pair of flip-flops and swept up more broken glass than we had seen in ages.
Overall it was a great night with some of the group having a real sense that our presence had really served help make the streets safer during the evening, as well as bringing a real light to the area. A big thanks to all in the team, especially our fantastic observers – David and Wayne.